Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Los Angeles
Skilled legal guidance from our Los Angeles Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers
Many debtors face overwhelming debt that they cannot pay off, even with debt reorganization and an extended repayment plan. The solution for individuals who cannot pay their debt is Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In Chapter 7, known as liquidation, the debtor’s nonexempt property is sold and the proceeds are distributed to creditors. Debtors are discharged from paying most remaining debts.
At the Law Offices of Michael Jay Berger, we help clients in need of Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The vast majority of Chapter 7 cases that we file are “no asset cases,” meaning all of our client’s assets are exempt and clients keep all of their assets. One of our Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyers begins by evaluating the assets, debts, and income of an individual debtor to see if filing for chapter 7 is the best solution for debt relief, or if Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a better alternative. In order to qualify for Chapter 7, the Bankruptcy Code requires the debtor to meet a means test to see if his or her income is above the state median. In addition, the debtor must undergo credit counseling with an approved agency.
Once the requirements for Chapter 7 are satisfied, our lawyer helps individual debtors through the bankruptcy process. During the process, a trustee gathers and sells the nonexempt assets of the debtor. California law has two sets of exemptions—California Code of Civil Procedure sections 703 and 704—either one of which may be used in a bankruptcy case. We help debtors choose which exemption is best, given their circumstances.
The types of exempt assets we help debtors keep in whole or part, depending on the case, may include the following:
- Clothes and personal effects
- Ordinary household goods, such as furniture and appliances
- Homestead equity
- Vehicle equity
- Retirement plans
- Insurance policies
- Tools of the trade
- Workers compensation and personal injury claim income
- Other assets
Once the trustee gathers and sells the nonexempt assets, and the creditors are paid according to the Bankruptcy Code, the remaining debts are discharged. Certain debts cannot be discharged, including the following:
- Alimony and child support
- Certain taxes
- Certain educational loans
- Certain personal injury debts
- Certain criminal restitution debts
Chapter 7 is a complex process, so it is important to have an experienced bankruptcy lawyer on your side to help maximize the assets the debtor keeps and minimize the assets that are liquidated. As a certified bankruptcy specialist, Michael Jay Berger and his team of Los Angeles Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers, have helped clients to discharge tens of millions of dollars in debts.
I have handled more than a thousand Chapter 7s from start to finish. 99% + of my Chapter 7 clients have received their discharge and kept all of their assets. 100% of the clients that told me the whole truth and nothing but the truth received their discharge. My employees and I have helped our clients to discharge more than $100,000,000.00 in debts in my Chapter 7 cases and given them the fresh start that they are entitled to by law. Many of our clients have had bad experiences with so called “debt settlement” firms before they met us. These firms that charge exorbitant fees, receive “commissions” or kickbacks from collection agencies based on how much they get the debtors to pay, and then do nothing when their clients are sued. With these firms, most of the client’s money usually to pay the firms’ fees, and most of the clients are never able to finish paying off their debts. Through Chapter 7, we solve our clients debt problems. We stop garnishments, foreclosures and bank levies, relieve our clients’ stress and ultimately help them to rebuild their credit by first discharging their debt.